Transportation Planning in one Handy Document: Transportation Element Checklist

Resources and Tools

by Joe Griffiths

At the planning directors roundtable on September 20, Planning presented the newly completed Transportation Element Checklist.

A few in attendance didn’t like use of the word “checklist”, believing it smelled like a mandate. We want to assure local planners and officials that this checklist is far from an inventory of requirements. Rather, it serves as a guide and resource for jurisdictions of all sizes in the early stages of developing a comprehensive plan Transportation Element. This is a guide with which users can “check off” those topics which have been addressed, or “check off” those items that do not apply to their jurisdictions. The checklist is a “choose your own adventure” kind of document.

Starting in late 2017 and finishing this year, Planning and MDOT collaborated to develop a resource covering all potential aspects of a Transportation Element, which is required but vaguely defined in section §3-105 of the Maryland Land Use Article. The checklist can be used by anyone involved in transportation planning; public or private sector. It is organized by transportation mode and contains resources, suggestions, and questions on the following topics:

  • Transportation goals, objectives, and strategies
  • Existing facilities
  • Best practices
  • Implementation
  • Funding sources
  • Land use consistency

The checklist is a rich compilation of state, federal, and private sector data and planning resources covering topics from green streets to autonomous vehicles. Just don’t call it a mandate. To learn more about this resource, or to make suggestions for its improvement, please contact Joe Griffiths at

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